Espresso Beans vs Coffee Beans: What’s The Difference?

Most don’t know the difference between espresso beans vs coffee beans. Coffee is coffee, isn’t it?

Espresso Beans Vs Coffee Beans
Espresso Beans vs. Coffee Beans

Most don’t know the difference between espresso beans and coffee beans. Coffee is coffee, right?

Wrong! You are doing yourself a disservice by making your daily cup of joe with the wrong type of beans. Doing this can result in your coffee tasting bland and unpleasant.

But what is the difference, and which beans should I use? Well, let’s find out, my fellow coffee lover.

What are Espresso Beans and Coffee Beans, and Should You Care?

Depending on how you prepare your coffee, you should either use espresso beans or coffee beans, and the only difference between the two is the brewing methods used.

Espresso Beans

espresso beans
Typical espresso beans

Espresso beans, typically made from robusta or arabica beans, are roasted for longer and results in a dark roast and more oily bean.

Normally, darker roasts have more flavor since it has been released during the longer roasting process. Espresso beans are also ground finer than coffee beans because water comes in contact with the grounds for only a short period.

If you have a grinder, then try and grind them to the same consistency as sand. This will allow the high pressure, hot water to extract as much flavor as possible.

Coffee Beans

coffee beans
Coffee beans are usually lighter than espresso beans

Coffee beans refer to any bean roasted and ready for brewing. They are generally lighter in color than espresso beans, which makes them better for slow extraction processes like filter coffee, pour-over coffee, and white coffee.

The acidity of coffee beans is also more pronounced than espresso beans.

Why You Must Use The Right Beans

Choosing the right beans is crucial when making a good cup of coffee. If you prefer drinking espresso or americano, a diluted version of espresso, then espresso beans will work best because they are darkly roasted beans that taste less acidic and contain more flavor.

As a rule of thumb, espresso beans are for fast extraction processes, while coffee beans are for slow extraction processes. If you’re grinding your beans at home, the darker the bean, the longer and finer you must grind it.

If you aren’t a big espresso fan and prefer pure-over coffee or filter coffee, then dark beans aren’t necessary. Lightly roasted coffee beans will give you an acidic taste that many coffee drinkers love with a decent amount of caffeine.

4 Key Differences Between Espresso Beans vs. Coffee Beans

An espresso label is just a recommendation from the roasters on how to use the coffee beans based on the length of the roast.

1. Espresso Beans are Finer Ground, Leading To A Thicker Crema

Espresso beans need to be ground finer because they’re mainly used for fast extraction methods. It puts high-pressure, hot water through the puck, which extracts all the goodness from the grounds, giving us the famous espresso taste we all know and love.

Coffee beans don’t have to be ground as fine as espresso beans since the hot water has more time to extract the necessary flavors.

2. The Caffeine Content of Coffee Beans is Lower

A single shot of espresso (1 ounce) contains similar caffeine amounts as one cup (10 ounces) of regular pour-over coffee. This makes espresso better for busy individuals who need a quick caffeine fix.

Coffee beans prepared the traditional way is better for people who like to enjoy and savor the moment.

3. Espresso Beans Tastes Stronger and Richer Than Coffee Beans

Espresso beans taste stronger and richer than coffee beans since it spent more time roasting, which brings out more flavors and oils.

4. They Both Require Different Brewing Methods

If you want to use espresso beans to make a good shot of espresso, you’ll either need an espresso machine, an AeroPress, or any other machine that can apply pressure and hot water to an espresso roast.

With coffee beans, you can grind it and make drip coffee.

Espresso Beans vs Coffee Beans: Which Types of Coffee Is Better?

coffee beans vs espresso beans
Coffee beans and espresso beans do have some differences

If you’re always on the go, espresso is your best bet. It’ll give you an energy boost in the morning that’ll carry you through the day.

You also won’t have to drink 10 ounces of ground coffee to get the same effect. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you’ll want to steer away from Italian espresso.

It might be served in a tiny cup, but it contains a ton of caffeine. Stay on the safe side and drink regular coffee made from light roasts or medium roasts, that way, you won’t get the jitters and palpitations you’d experience from drinking espresso.

Making espresso and all the other drinks associated with it, like cappuccinos, lattes, and americanos, is an art. And if you’re like me and you’re obsessed with this art, then invest in your hobby and buy an espresso machine and learn how to make all your favorite drinks and latte arts.

Lastly, if you love the act of sipping coffee throughout the day while working, then coffee brewed from lightly roasted beans are your best bet. You’ll be able to drink as much coffee as your heart desires without consuming dangerous amounts of caffeine.

The Final Word On Espresso Beans vs Coffee Beans

The major difference between espresso beans and coffee beans is that espresso beans are roasted for longer, giving them a stronger, less acidic taste.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.